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July 4, 2009

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've said several times since you won in Paris, you've been feeling very relaxed. Now that the possibly 15th title is very close, does some of that relaxation go away?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, tension always comes back for any Grand Slam final, or final for that matter. Knowing I only have one match to go, it definitely changes your mindset, you know.
You don't have to think of maybe a possible match coming after that. I'll have a few weeks off, so I'll just try to give my very best.
Records are part of this great match right now, so it's obviously even more of an incentive to try really hard.

Q. In addition to the serve, what do you find most challenging about facing Andy Roddick?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, just his dangerous play, his fighting spirit, his belief. He's also been one of the most consistent players in the last five years. He's basically always been in the top 10, I think. It's nice to see that he's back in a Grand Slam final again. I like to play those classic matches with him.
We've played so many times against each other. We're almost the same age. He's improved his game again, I think, which was important for him, and necessary too. So it's going to be a good test for me.

Q. Did you watch much of his game with Andy Murray yesterday? Were you surprised or impressed how well he played?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw not everything, just parts of the match, because I was in press and then I was in transport. So I just saw maybe one set in all. But it seems it was, you know, very close towards the end. You know, a few points here and there.
But I thought Andy Roddick was really able to put the pressure on Murray. It was good to see that Roddick could really like, you know, push Andy on the back foot time and time after again. That's what I said yesterday: the better player will come to the finals and challenge me.
For that matter I was very happy I was already there. My match went really smooth. I'm really excited about being in the final again.

Q. How much of the pleasure you take from playing Andy comes from your record against Andy?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's just that I played him for the first time nine years ago maybe. We've played each other almost in every Grand Slam, except the French. We've had some big matches against each other.
I always said that serve makes him so dangerous, you know. No matter what surface you play him on, no matter where you play him, how bad the record is for him, he'll always have that shot just because he can serve so great.
It's hard to get a read on it. You know, I've had times where I read it incredibly well. I couldn't believe how well I did read it. And then I had days I didn't read it. That's the strength of a great serve. He not only has a great first serve, but probably has the best second serve in the game. That's what makes it hard to break him.
He's good enough off the baseline that he can always make it really a tough match every single time.

Q. If you win tomorrow, you've now won the French Open, you're going to become a parent. Is there a possibility when you get to the 15th Grand Slam title you'll just start to feel your appetite wane a little bit? When are you going to feel you've done enough in the game?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I mean, it might be a completely different situation, you know, at the US Open when it comes to answering those sort of questions, you know, like how does it feel. But right now I don't know.
I mean, I'm just excited that Mirka is feeling great. Awaiting our first child, it's quite something on a personal note. That's great.
Also I'm playing wonderful tennis at the moment. Everything seems like, you know, everything's just great. I'm not really worried about my motivation in any way, because I love this game too much. I'd like to stick around for a long time.
I don't know if you heard, but Mirka's dream was always that our child can see me play as well. So there you go. I have to play a few more years just because of Mirka.
And, anyway, the 2012 Olympics here at Wimbledon is something I'm going to be a part of. I don't think it's going to change a whole lot in the next year or so.

Q. Winning 14 slams is such an incredible accomplishment. They sort of all blend together in a certain way. If students of the game wanted to sit down and say what are your top four or five, they might point to your first win here or the French this year, Wimbledon tying Borg, your first US Open over Hewitt. Which would you say were the top four or five?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, obviously, you know, every Grand Slam or every victory has its special feeling about it, depending also on how you played coming into the final, how you felt beforehand, maybe what happened in your personal life. There's a lot of things that come into play about your reaction and feeling after match point winning a Grand Slam.
Of course, there's milestone wins that you'll never forget, you know. One of them was obviously my first Wimbledon victory here in 2003. That really opened up all possibilities to me that I knew I can be a wonderful player and I can actually have incredible success on the men's tour, after having it already on the junior tour, proving my point by beating some of the greatest players already in the game, like Sampras.
That just gave me belief. But then winning the big one really gave me the edge I think. Then becoming No. 1 in the world when I beat Ferrero in Australia I think was a milestone victory as well, because it was always a dream for me to become No. 1 in the world. When I achieved that in 2004 it was a wonderful feeling, like feeling on top of the world. It was great.
And then, you know, obviously all those US Open victories against maybe Roddick in the final, especially the one against Agassi in the final. Those are particularly special just because, you know, they played at home. The Agassi one, you know, people were wondering if González he might retire that day if he beats me, for instance, like Sampras basically did a few years earlier.
Sort of the atmosphere in the stadium was amazing to be part of. So to come through that one was probably one of my biggest accomplishments as a player, filled me with the most pride. Obviously going for my fifth one here, beating Rafa in five was amazing. There you go.
So I guess those are some of them. But I have many more, thank God. I probably even forget a few sometimes now.

Q. The whole of this country wanted a Federer/Murray final tomorrow. Is there a part of you that's perhaps a little disappointed that won't happen for the sense of occasion?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, maybe a little bit, you know. But then again, whoever won that semifinals deserved it more. It's just the way it goes in tennis. Tennis is tough, you know.
Of course, I would have liked to play Murray here. But then again, I like playing Roddick, too. I'm just excited I'm in the finals. I always said, Whoever's in the finals against me doesn't matter to me because I'm playing for victory, not trying to beat somebody in the final.

Q. Murray got close. Can you see him winning a Grand Slam in the near future?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. I mean, he's put himself in a good position with all his wins in Masters, being consistent, you know, having a good record against top players. So things look good for him.
But a Grand Slam is not something that comes very easily. It takes a lot of hard work. There's many young and hungry players out there. Rafa's gonna come back for the US Open and so forth. So, you know, it's not an easy thing to do, but he's definitely gonna have his shot.

Q. What do you think that you and the event have missed by not having Nadal here?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I mean, sort of the tournament goes on. You know, if I or Rafa doesn't win the tournament, somebody will, and there will always be a story. I think the story definitely was Murray in this tournament, you know, because of where he comes from, because of how good his game's gotten, you know, that he had a real chance of winning here.
I think that's why Rafa got forgotten quite quickly, to be honest. There was a good semifinal match, that was Roddick, and there you go. It's unfair to a degree. But at the same time you have to move on, you know. I'm sure Rafa will be coming back next year and playing great tennis here. So that's the way this sport works really.

Q. You mentioned the win to put you to No. 1 the first time as being one of your milestone wins. Is there a point of pride in that you can return to No. 1 by winning tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, well, probably not as much as becoming No. 1 for the first time. I think that's a very special moment, because it doesn't matter if I'm No. 1 for a week or for 50 years, you know, you've been No. 1 in the world. That's what counts to sort of have it on your résumé, being the most consistent player for 365 days. It doesn't matter whether you have it for a week or for a long time.
Of course, it's nice to hang on to it, going through life being the best, being called the best by everybody, by fans. When they see you, It's so nice to meet you; you're the best. You're not just really a champion, you're the best at something. That's a nice feeling to have.
That's why I hope I can become No. 1 in the world again, hopefully from Monday on again. So for this reason I have to play well on Sunday and focus on Roddick.

Q. I heard you were in the tube the other day, the underground; is that true?

Q. A few weeks ago the story was about Nadal winning everything, you struggling a little bit. Then you won Madrid, you won Paris. Now you're about to regain maybe the No. 1. Tennis seems to change fast. What's your reflection on this?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, there's a good side and a bad side, because it's kind of a very important period in tennis, the French Open and Wimbledon stretch.
So if you get injured -- I think like what Murray got injured as well with his wrist a couple of years ago, and Rafa now a little bit. I don't quite remember now who else got injured -- but you can lose so many points. Especially him being back-to-back champions, Paris and Wimbledon last year, you can't play, you lose four thousand points. It goes like in a hurry. From being invincible, you're all of a sudden No. 2, No. 3 in the world, having to prove yourself.
Other tournaments are looming around the corner which you have to defend again. Does that just mean that he's only the second best, you know, or third best just because he couldn't play? Probably not. He deserves to be all the way up there in the rankings, but somebody has to win the tournament.
All you can do is put yourself in that position, and I did. Of course, I'm very happy. Shouldn't be forgotten what a great player, what a great champion he is. Stories come about very, very quickly in tennis.
At the same time, because they go so quickly, some fade quickly as well. Sometimes it's not fair towards certain players, if you achieved a lot like I did for so many years and then you don't win some tournaments, people say you're already on the decline very quickly.
So that's the way this business works, unfortunately. But I hope it just opens some eyes at least these last few months, because they have been very different maybe to what people expected.

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